Customer Installation 1.5 Upflow Acid Neutralizer

Our customer down in Stanley North Carolina did his own installation and documented it for us. We thought we would share it with you. INSTALLATION OF A MID ATLANTIC 1.5 CU-FT UPFLOW NEUTRALIZER -- WATSON GABRIEL In the Summer of 2015 I began a project to replace my existing MacClean Acid Neutralizer which I installed in 1999; however the original goal was to only replace a pressure tank with a ruptured diaphragm -- a significant turn of events and a much larger project than expected. Some background -- My well is located around 125 feet from my house. The 6-inch well depth is 380 feet. Water supply at 360 feet is well over 25 GPM. Supply at 200 feet is 25 GPM. Great water except for the acidity. Static water level is usually no more than 15 feet or so from the top of the well. The submersible pump is located at 225 feet. The present 1 HP pump feeds a standard pressure switch control set around 41/62 psig after passing through a particulate filter. Pressure tank size at the well head is 24 gallons. Located at the house is my "Water Treatment Shed" which contains a 32 gallon pressure tank and an up-flow Chemical Engineering Corp MacClean UN1000 Acid Neutralizer with a 10X48 tank sold as a 1 cu-ft unit. The Shed was constructed and water treatment components installed in 1999. Well water in the Piedmont section of NC is typically acidic to varying degrees. All of this equipment has been in service for over 16 years except for a new Cycle Stop Valve installed this year which I love and for the submersible pump which was replaced in September 2013 due to a blown motor start capacitor. Late in 2014 we had a failure of the bladder in the pressure tank in the Water Treatment Shed at the house.  A replacement pressure tank was purchased sometime later; however we decided to wait until warmer weather to replace it since part of the Shed would have to be demounted to do this and there was no urgent fix needed. Nice to have a spare pressure tank! Around March of 2015 the Shed Roof and the Front and Right Wall panels were removed. The failed pressure tank was removed and the pressure tank inlet union was blocked so that the water system and Neutralizer could continue operation along with the pressure tank at the well.  When troubleshooting the failed pressure tank earlier I had noticed that the concrete pad was wet around just the base of the Neutralizer which indicated a leak. PIC 1 taken later before the new installation started shows the McClean Neutralizer with the pressure tank and the remaining 2 Water Treatment Shed wall panels removed. You can see the larger wet area indicating that the Neutralizer leak had gotten worse with time. We removed the last 2 wall panels with the Neutralizer in place knowing that it was going to be replaced. Normal disassembly procedure is to remove both the Pressure Tank and Neutralizer before demounting the Rear and Left Wall panels to help prevent damage to the plumbing. Inlet plumbing is on the front-facing side of the Neutralizer and the treated water outlet is on the opposite house-side at the bottom. Existing plumbing includes a Bypass around the whole system. The incoming water line from the well and the line going into the house are both underground. The old UN1000 Neutralizer had performed very well over the years and I really liked the bottom plumbing with a 2-1/2 inch tank cap at the top for adding media etc. Simple yet very effective. 1 PIC 1   If you look at the plumbing you will see lots of unions. I love them and I use lots of unions to allow various maintenance and modification activities and "get by" arrangements. I have never had a union to leak or fail so far. In April I started work to rebuild the 5 Water Treatment Shed wall panels which were in sad shape from being outside for 16 years. Carpenter ants had also gotten into 2 wall panels and eaten up part of the wood severely. The Left Wall and Rear Wall panels were completely rebuilt and the Right Wall and Front Wall were mostly rebuilt. The Roof was refurbished. I made some design modifications to the panels and roof as well from things I had learned over the years which included improving the internal insulation and how it was installed particularly on the access doors. All hardware except for hinges is now stainless steel or galvanized. All wood surfaces are now either painted or treated wood and all non-painted wood treated with 2% copper napthenate. The Shed is designed to be de-mountable consisting of 4 wall panels and a roof panel. I had to do all this work from measurements on the old panels as I could not find my original Shed design drawings from 1999. Bummer! They are here....somewhere! Turned out that the old Neutralizer had a cracked factory outlet fitting on the tank bottom which was not easy to fix if it can be fixed at all. Considering its age I decided to replace it. I started looking for a replacement Neutralizer while finishing up rebuilding the Shed panels. I was saddened by the fact that I could not find what I would call a "drop-in" replacement for the MacClean unit. I found one possibility; however the vendor only sold through dealers and the pricing was ridiculous. Looked that "everyone" had moved to "top plumbing" favoring the Clack heads which dictated more plumbing changes for me; however that did present an opportunity to make some desired design changes in the plumbing.  I did want another up-flow neutralizer having no desire nor need for a back-washing type of neutralizer. I also wanted a larger unit around 1.5 cu-ft. The acidity of the well water here is somewhat less than 6.0 pH and I had been using a combination of Calcium Carbonate and Magnesium Oxide media in the old Neutralizer. In my searching I found the Mid Atlantic Water website and after getting some answers from Aidan Walsh on some of my concerns I placed an order for the 1.5 cu-ft Up-flow Neutralizer Package. My main worry was that the height of the 10X54 tank with the Clack Head added would be too tall to fit where the existing Neutralizer was placed especially with the roof insulation in place for the front-sloping roof. It measured to be a pretty tight fit. In due time the new Neutralizer arrived. I installed the Clack Head and Bypass Assembly and started taking measurements to see if it would fit into the Shed since the new wall panels were finished. It was quickly apparent to me that the Clack Bypass Assembly can be mounted "upside down" and save 1-3/8 inches of height! Super! It would fit vertically with a couple of inches to spare for sure! Additionally that change oriented the Clack Bypass Valve "arrows" for Inlet/Outlet correctly eliminating the need to reverse them. Then I started figuring out how I wanted to plumb it up to my new plumbing design with the changes I planned to make. I went through possibly using either PEX CPVC PVC or flexible hose connections to the Neutralizer; however I was not particularly happy with any of these designs for various reasons. It is the engineer in me I guess! In looking for other options I had the idea of using the Falcon Stainless corrugated stainless steel flex lines for connecting the Neutralizer 1-inch MPT Inlet and Outlet fittings to the other plumbing. I liked this option best and its flexibility so I ordered what I expected to be needed and gathered up all other material needs. Friday September 4: PIC 2 and PIC 3 show the initial Neutralizer installation with which I was extremely happy. The new Mid Atlantic Neutralizer was placed in the same spot as the original MacClean unit leaving required space for the new pressure tank.  I liked the symmetry of the plumbing as well. On each side of the Neutralizer I used 1 each of the Falcon 1-in FPT X 3/4-in FPT by 18 inch 3/4-in FPT X 3/4-in FPT X 12 inch   and 3/4-in FPT X 3/4-in FPT X 15 inch flex lines interconnected with 3/4-inch Schedule 80 PVC Close Nipples. As recommended by Falcon and other suppliers of such flex lines a couple of wraps of Teflon tape are applied to all of the male fitting threads. This is not to accomplish any sealing function and is to make the threads more slippery and prevent any galling between the PVC and the flex line metal threads. Worked very well! Also recommended was to apply some "O-ring lubricant" to the EPDM gaskets in each of the Falcon fittings. It did not take much tightening of the Falcon fittings to make leak-free connections. I tested this out by pressurizing the in/out lines with the Clack Bypass valves closed to flow.   2PIC 2 3 PIC 3 I have also included PIC 4 taken a little later in the process which shows a close-up of the plumbing modifications I made to facilitate hookup of the Neutralizer and implement my design changes. I eliminated a check valve on the inlet supply to the neutralizer and re-oriented the spigot valve in this line. I also added another spigot valve and shut-off valve on the outlet side to facilitate another way for performing a media flush pH testing etc prior to the Pressure Tank. I needed to re-orient the spigot valves at the front and right side of the Shed to keep them from hitting the now thicker Shed insulation. You should note that the unions near the connections to the flex lines allow the PVC transitions to be rotated to whatever angle is needed to make the connection to the Neutralizer and also provide an easy disconnection point for the flex lines. Another union on the inlet line also allows removal of this PVC section for Neutralizer removal with hand-trucks if needed. 4 PIC 4 At this point I was feeling very good about the installation so I removed the Neutralizer tank and set the Left Wall and Rear Wall of the Shed in place fastened the left-rear corner of the Shed together with its lag screws (PIC 4) and reinstalled the electrical components on the Rear Wall. When I re-installed the tank and was hooking it up here arose the first "Awwww Crap" moment of the installation!  See PIC 5. With the added horizontal space requirement of the Clack fittings there was hardly any gap at all between the fittings and the Left Wall framing. I really did want to have enough spacing to be able to remove these connectors. While it could be left as-is this just did not sit right with me. Regrettably I had not considered this occurrence. 5 PIC 5 I knew I had to change how the tank was oriented; however I wanted to get the Neutralizer in service before dark so I left this problem for tomorrow. I partially loaded the Neutralizer initially with a mix of Calcite that came with the Neutralizer and Calcite/Corosex 80/20 mix which I already had. Finally something in the tank! I installed a media flushing adapter that I had made to the 1-1/4 tank dome fitting on the Neutralizer. PIC 6 shows the setup for the flush. PIC 7 shows a detailed picture of the flushing adapter in case someone else would like to make one. The gray 1-1/4 inch fitting is a PVC electrical conduit male adapter. These fittings have "straight" threads unlike male pipe tapered threads and the adapter screws perfectly into the tank fitting. I also had made and added a gasket to help seal the connection. 6 PIC 6 7 PIC 7   Actually I had filled the tank before I installed the flushing adapter by opening the Clack Inlet Valve and using my system isolation valve to slowly admit water to the Neutralizer and fill it up until water got to the tank dome port. I left the Clack Outlet Valve still closed and performed the media flush through the adapter and drain hose. I like performing the media flush this way as it minimizes the amount of media "dust" which can get into your plumbing lines where it will go into the house and clog up the fixtures especially any fixtures with strainers or aerators or valves like the Moen's which use the O-ring cartridges. I have had this happen many times over the years when some of the outlet plumbing is involved in the flush. Usually some media "dust" will settle into the plumbing and later crap things up! This flush went very well with no subsequent issues. After finishing the flush I opened the Clack Outlet Valve and put the Neutralizer online by closing my System Bypass Valve and pressurizing the Neutralizer via the Inlet and Outlet Isolation Valves. Did some testing of how pH was running. System was working fine -- actually tooooo fine! The pH was well above 8.5 which is as high as I can measure with my pH indicator solutions. You could taste the water and tell too. So I did the trick of partially opening up my System Bypass Valve (not the Clack Bypass Valve) and letting some of the acidic water mix with the Neutralizer outlet to bring this down to the mid-7 to 8 pH numbers. The water mixes well in some elbows it goes through getting into the house which provide turbulence. It took several steps to adjust the Bypass Valve to where I wanted it and I will check it over several days under varying flow conditions to find the best average valve setting. As things change with the media I will re-adjust the Bypass Valve more closed until I need to add media. Enough for today. I will think more about my preferred fix for the Neutralizer tank "fit" problem tonight but I already know what my preferred fix will be most likely. Saturday September 5: Since I had practically no space between the Neutralizer and the Pressure Tank to move the Neutralizer horizontally away from the side wall the obvious solution to the interference problem would be to rotate the Neutralizer 90-degrees clockwise putting the Clack Inlet/Outlet fittings towards the back of the Shed and put the dome fill-fitting facing the front. This was actually my "2nd-choice" orientation for the Neutralizer installation originally. So the next morning I isolated the Neutralizer and Pressure tank drained the water out of the lines removed the Pressure Tank removed the Neutralizer SS flex lines and rotated the tank. It turned out that the SS flex line for the Neutralizer Outlet would re-route fine to its connections with no changes other than a bit of re-orientation of the components. The SS flex line for the Neutralizer Inlet was a bit short as expected. I did not have any other Falcon flex lines. So I put together a 7-inch home-made nipple from a piece of PVC pipe and 2 male adapters and installed it between the 12-inch and 15-inch SS flex lines in place of the Close Nipple. With a minimal amount of flex line bending the Neutralizer Inlet connections terminated just fine and maintained the same orientation of my main PVC inlet line piping. Those unions I had installed to allow re-orientation of the connections to the main PVC lines helped make this easy. The Pressure Tank was re-installed and the Water Treatment System was put back In Service in an hour or so after starting. I also got rid of the old wooden blocks that were originally used for pipe supports and some used for temporary support. They were replaced with home-made clip-on PVC pipe supports that are waterproof and have a bit of adjustability. These changes are shown in PIC 8 and PIC 9 along with the installed Pressure Tank and the Right Wall of the Shed. Success! In these pictures you can also see the partially-open System Bypass Valve to allow mixing of some acidic water with the Neutralizer outlet water to bring down the high-pH to a more desirable level. This helps to minimize large pH "yo-yo's" when Corosex is used.     8 PIC 8 9 PIC 9   PIC 10 and PIC 11 show the Water Treatment Shed completely assembled with the Front Wall and Roof Panels installed. There were no other "Awwww Crap" issues to deal with. The water treatment system installation and rebuilt Shed were declared finished Saturday September 5. At this point I still need to caulk a few places re-insulate the inlet and outlet lines going into the ground and cover them with dirt add more roof  insulation since the Roof Panel is installed and install the freeze-protection system in case it should be needed. Minor things to do! During the past couple of winters we've had 6-8 deg-F cold spells here which is unusual. I am very pleased with how well all the measuring and planning for the design changes and installation went for this project and the Mid Atlantic Water Neutralizer performance. 10 PIC 10 11 PIC 11  

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